Friday was a day of new posters, surprise announcements, and awesome trailers for Disney fans. The House That Walt Built spent Friday stoking the flame of its multiple fandoms in anticipation of November 12th, better known as Disney+ Day. With the launch barely two months away, the company is looking to keep the hype elevated.
True entertainers know that to keep the rubes in their seats you save the best for later in the show, and Disney’s denizens are world-class. Lucasfilm did not disappoint: the official trailer for Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian is here, and boy does it kick a$$.
While there’s little in the way of story in the minute and a half long teaser, certain shots immediately jump out.
- Bloodstained, cracked stormtrooper helmets hang limply on Vlad the Impaler-style spikes;
- Carl Freaking Weathers, looking wry and dangerous and worn all at once;
- a winking, mysterious Twi’lek woman;
- the Mandalorian walking across a landscape worthy of a John Ford film; and
- a close-up of his hand caressing a long blaster in its holster, an opponent (perhaps a Rodian?) standing in the windswept distance like a shootout at the OK Corral.
The real stars of the trailer are the Mandalorian himself, his ship (which simultaneously evokes the Republic LAAT/c dropships of the Clone Wars and the quadjumper Rey and Finn tried to use to escape Jakku in The Force Awakens), and the lethal IG-88.
The assassin droid has not seen much action since The Empire Strikes Back and some short stories in the old Expanded Universe, but Favreau is eager to show us that it hasn’t lost a step when it comes to blasting fools.
The trailer just feels right. It conjures that heady and once-peculiar mix of genres that George Lucas so skillfully melded in the original Star Wars trilogy. I say “once-peculiar” because the blend of Western-style visuals with the lone samurai stories and meticulous composition of Kurosawa films had never been attempted before Lucas did it; nowadays his films have made the motif as familiar as the beats of a rom-com or buddy cop movie.
The visual language of the trailer is more weighted, more important, than the little the characters have to say. George Lucas would be proud of how much emotion and intuitive storytelling Favreau wrings out of the color and smoke and dust of his world.
What we do know in terms of story are the sketchy details implied by the trailer. The Mandalorian has chased his prey into the web of a more dangerous predator, and the death troopers, AT-AT, and various gangsters seem to prove old Qui-Gonn’s maxim: there’s always a bigger fish.
All of this can be boiled down a simple statement—The Mandalorian looks amazing, and Favreau hits all the sweet spots in this trailer—but I prefer to use something even simpler: !